Oh friends. Let me just brace you for the pure goodness you are about to experience. Welcome to Part 1 of NRP through the years! Here’s where it all began!

2007

In 2007, I was a junior at Appalachian State, pursuing a degree in technical photography. I shadowed some photography friends as a “3rd shooter/assistant” at 2-3 weddings. I was engaged to Will, planning a wedding, and soaking in as much of photography as I possibly could! I was the ONLY person in my graduating class who wanted to shoot weddings. Everyone else thought I was crazy, but I didn’t care! I loved weddings, and my heart was set on becoming a wedding photographer. I was scared out of my mind. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I knew I wanted to dive all in.

Here’s a pic of me and my roomies! On the left, Sam – who I now get to call my sister! (She married John – Will’s little brother.  Pretty awesome, since we’ve been best friends since 9th grade!) I’m in the middle, and do you recognize the girl on the right? Yep, that’s Elizabeth, one of my amazing associate photographers! She was my roomie in college, studying photography at the time I was. We have lots of embarrassing stories to tell, but I digress.

2008

On January 3, 2008, I photographed my first wedding on my own! That’s when I declared that I was a photographer, and I owned my own business. Here are some images from the very first wedding I shot:

(Oh yeah. Check out that dark processing and my awesome logo!)

I was still a full time student at ASU. In the spring semester, I photographed a few weddings and welcomed my fiancé to the mountains. In February of 2008, Will moved to Boone and settled into the apartment shown below.

He got a job and worked some crazy hours (read: night shift). After I finished my junior year, in June of 2008, I married Will and moved in with him. I transformed this little apartment from a bachelor’s pad to our first home together! The door on the bottom was Apartment #1. It had no air conditioner, no dishwasher, no ice maker, and a community washer/dryer (that you still had to pay for in quarters). There were 2 bedrooms: 1 was our master bedroom, the other: a guest-bedroom-turned-into-photography-office. It was home sweet home for 2 years, and it was also where I spent hundreds of hours in front of a computer launching my business. I learned, I read blogs, I read tutorials, I bought used equipment, I blogged, I edited my first weddings. Those were some long days in that guest bedroom office!

Once we were married, I took summer classes, I continued to shoot weddings as I booked them, and I worked part time as a hostess at a Crippens – an old restuarant in Boone. Here’s an old photo of Will, myself, and my mom visiting my restaurant for dinner one evening!

And here’s another image from my first year of photography, just because it’s fun:

(Will is on the far left in the groomsmen shot! The bride and groom still remains some of our closest friends to this day. Love them to pieces.)

Will and I love remembering this sweet season of life. In the summers, we would swim in the river, hike to waterfalls, watch lots of 24, and spend so much time together – just the two of us. Many of our friends had graduated and moved away, so Will and I created our own adventures. What a sweet season away from everything and everyone.

In December of 2008, I graduated from Appalachian State and launched full time into my business. Here I am presenting my Senior Portfolio… all images from weddings, of course!

Launching full time into my business after graduating wasn’t my plan, but it definitely was the Lord’s plan for me!  More on that next week in Part 2. Stay tuned!

Sign Up to Receive our FREE PDF - "5 Steps to Preserve Your Legacy Through Photographs"

And join The Nancy Ray News!

No Spam, we promise! Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit
SHARE
COMMENTS

Ahh! I love this. I just had to log on and catch up on this post, especially after our chat about it at dinner last week. Love the photo of your first bridal show. Oh, and your first wedding photos…those are pretty fun :)
I love reading about God paving the way by closing doors so you could really embrace this gift of yours. Can’t wait to see what’s up next!

I love this!! You have blossomed so beautifully!

Beautiful beginning! Can’t wait for part 2!

Thanks for sharing! We all have to start somewhere. I still look back at pics of my very first class and wonder how ANY of them learned to read that year! But somehow they did. By the way, you have not changed a bit. Can’t wait to read part 2.

I love seeing how much your photography has changed since then. WOW. Excited for Part 2!

Well this was fun! I look forward to part two!

We are so glad you are here!

Welcome to the NRP Blog! Enjoy getting to know our hearts and our work. We are so grateful you stopped by!